Tuesday, February 02, 2010

the heart of a 13 year old

one of my alltime fave movies is "you've got mail"

i love meg ryan
i love tom hanks
i love goldens
& i love goldens named brinkley

i love that she owned her own shop
i too used to own a shop
i love that her shop is a bookstore

of course
i love bookstores

i love her wardrobe
& i love the precious relationship between the two characters

i can quote practically the entire flick
i love it when meg, as kathleen kelly, types this:

"Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life - well, valuable, but small - and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn't it be the other way around? I don't really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void. "

i too lead a small life
& sometimes i feel like my blog writing is just like this
a cosmic question
or entry
sent out into the void

so today i do have a cosmic question
there might not be an answer
per say
& i don't know that i even need an answer

maybe just an affirmation
that you too
struggle with this

you see
i have a 13 year daughter
who loves many
& is loved by many

she is perpetually happy
& cheerful

she sees the good in all people
& gives the endless benefit of the doubt
to everyone
{something, i must sadly admit she did not inherit from me}

she is loyal
crazy loyal

for several years she looked just like the character that played Lucy Pevensie
in "The Chronicles of Narnia"
( she had the same bob & that precious round face)
not only one of my most favorite stories in literature
but undoubtedly
my favorite literary character
( which explains why i wanted to name my golden Lucy if
she was a girl
but since he is a boy...he his brinkley

that's my emi
innocent minded

so how do i teach a child to truly see the good
& trust people
to forgive

at the same time
teach her that she can not blindly trust everyone
that her loyalty is like a gift
that others aren't always a sweet & kind as she thinks they are

how do i encourage her to be a friend to the friendless
be careful because sometimes those friends
might not be good friends

that being loyal to her friends
might include asking adults to help
if that friend
that needs her loyalty
also needs some help
that is out of her league
as a innocent minded sweet 13 year old girl

how do i teach her to do
just as she has learned from scripture
to turn the other cheek
to do unto others as she would have them do unto her
be careful
because not everyone will treat her
as the precious child she still is

there are people who will
take advantage of her loyalty
who will abuse her forgiveness

she has the strengths that are noble
i just want her to be careful

i don't want to come across as the jaded adult

or even just the realist that i am

its so hard....

letting them

be brave

when the bravery

is in the giving

of their heart.....


Jen Kershner said...

It's so hard isn't it Paige? This parenting teenagers and I think even harder because it's girls. I'm also dealing with some parenting contradictions in my own life so I think I do understand where you are coming from. I guess my only advice might be to tell her just like you told us. You put it so well.

Simone said...

Oh Paige, this was so beautifully written....

I love how you describe your daughter.

Being a mother is hard....being a mother to girls is even harder....so far, in my experience anyway.

My daughter is almost 9, she is in her 5th year at school and every single teacher she has had has described her as a mediator...using that exact word.

I am hugely proud of her and love that she wants everyone to get along (and goodness knows that's enough of a challenge with some of the little madams she has in her class...enough of that though!).....but I worry all the time that her kind nature lies her open to being taken advantage of and abused by others who already couldn't care less. I love that she is so caring and I always tell myself I would much rather she was like that than a child who is mean and selfish because they know no other way to be.

You must be so proud of your daughter, as you are of all your girls...they are setting a wonderful example for others to follow.

I have no answers for you but I understand completely where you are coming from.

And I LOVE "You've Got Mail" too :)

Have a lovely day :)

Martha said...

Oh Paige...that was simply beautiful! {including those pics of her}...as I have no advice considering my girls are still very young...but I think you should just say what you just put...

Shawn Seay said...

What a beautiful post. As I mother my own I have many of those thoughts.....often all at the same time. I know you know the same answers that I do. Pray. and then Pray some more. Pray for her now, and for her future and for everyone that crosses her path. That's what I do..and then I pray more. You are such a special Mother who loves on her girls so well. I adore that movie, as well!
Have a blessed day!--Shawn

Missy said...

Paige, you spoke right to my heart today! My Paige is one of those loyal, crazy loyal, friends, too. I am SO proud of her, but scared for her all of the time. I am so impressed with how she stands up for those that need a voice and I beam with pride when someone says what a kind girl she is, but I am scared for her, too.
I wish I had words for you, just know you are not alone in your pride, fear, love and admiration. Hugs!

the wild raspberry said...

as hard as it is, it's almost something that has to be learned from experience.

i'm sure you will have wonderful advice all along the way.


i love that movie too.

i love her hair.
makes me want to cut mine every time i watch it
{which is often}


Tara said...

I think she needs to read this post, as it was so beautifully written and expressed...she has you as a mother and even if you don't believe it, she learns from you everyday and she will learn from her experiences and thank you in the end for being so open and honest...in the name of protecting her and her best interests.

Liza said...

Paige - This is my first time commenting on your blog, but I have to "come out of the shadows" and tell you how incredibly beautiful your works were. I have 2 daughters and I often wonder the exact words you have spoken. You truly touched me. I hope you don't mind, I posted some of your words on my blog (giving you proper credit of course!)

jami said...

Beautimus!!! Your writing and ability to paint a picture with your words is amazing...not to mention your deep love for your Emi girl and the whole fam.
Makes me want to send you a boquet of pencils!!!

Wendy @ The Shabby Nest said...

Beautiful post, and I wish I had an answer. I think you are an amazing person, Paige. I am always uplifted when I visit here.

And just so you know we are indeed kindred spirits...You've Got Mail is one of my favorite movies as well. I was just thinking about "bouquets of sharpened pencils" the other day. ;-)

Jennnifer said...

she is blessed to have you for her Mommy. We raise them and then we have to let them go, so enjoy these precious times.

God is faithful.

I also love Meg Ryan. Have you see "When a Man Loves a Woman"? Powerful film!

I am just sad that last I heard she is estranged from her Mom...how sad...guess she needs our prayers...

Jennifer aka Gigi

Kristin said...

oh paige...what a wonderful post...i don't have the answers; my little girl is only two...i still worry and have questions...parenting...sigh...


*thank you* for stopping by my little blog...i appreciate you comments...you are amazing!

Jackie said...

Beautiful post! That is my favorite quote from You've Got Mail! I have a 12 year old girl and struggle with the same things. She is SO compassionate, yet, really strong and I don't want her to lose the ability to see the good and be kind ~ but to also stand up for herself and what she believes. We just have to have faith!

cheryl said...


When a person worries about what you worry about...everything turns out alright. xx

"...bouquets of sharpened pencils, Elizabeth Bennett, The Godfather, my mother and I used to twirl, hello New Jersey"

a classic...that movie is a classic.

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

It is so difficult to walk that fine line. I am starting to face the same thing with Nick, but for some reason, I imagine this is harder with a girl than with a boy......

I guess the only thing you can do is explain the way you just explained it to us. She might need to learn by following her heart and unfortunately, it might get broken along the way......... and if it does, you need to be there to help guide her through and patch it back up again when someone lets her down.

As parents, we can teach them the best that we can and have faith that they will make the right choices about all things.

I wish there was a clear cut answer to this one, but I don't think that there is one......

BTW, love that movie....also Sleepless in Seattle......OMG, I cannot even count how many times I have watched both of those movies:)



Leslie said...

Oh Paige that is so well written. I think if you just explain it to her like you did to us you will have at least planted a seed in her mind. Sometimes life just has to be experienced in order to see what is real and what is not. I was alot like her and it wasn't until I got "stung" a few times that I learned to be a bit wiser in my frienships and in life. I am sure you are a huge support to her and she will always know that you are there for her, I am going through that with my own teenager and it not always easy, I want to protect him but yet let him get some "real world" experiences while he is still under my watchful eye so that we may guide him in making the right choices and decisions. Ugh, why do they have to grow up!!!

Hillcrest Acres said...

Paige, I think I am going to print this and give it to my fourteen year old to read because I too worry about those things with her.

Your words are so beautifully written. It touched my heart. Your girls are so very lucky to have a mother like you.

Sweet Grace Farms said...

What a beauty!! I always knew she would be! Also, she is pure of heart and that is the best of qualities. My oldest didn't bring home stray animals, but stray people. As a matter of fact so did my youngest. I just tried to envelope them into our family love for the moments they were around, to have a larger effect on their lives,and also to cushion the blow when my daughters got hurt. Life will unfortunately, but eventually teach her to be more watchful, but I hope she always has the courage to reach out. An amazing heart like that is such a gift. I pray angels will protect it and help soften any blow to it.
You're a great mom!

Farmgirl Paints said...

Sounds like you are teaching her all the right things. The rest she just has to learn on her own...the hard way. Doesn't life stink like that sometimes?

BTW I love "You've got Mail". The swan painting in her bedroom haunts me. I've tried to find it for years. I love it!!

Jboo said...

Such a difficult balance, isn't it! Encouraging our kids, but also warning them and letting them know that there are those out there that are not as kind, sweet, charitable and giving.

Lovely photos! I was also thought from photos when she was younger how much she looked like Lucy! She has really grown even more beautiful and sounds just as lovely on the inside as the out.

P.S. Also loved that movie -- just watched it over the holidays with my girl.

Susan said...

Hmmm let me ponder this one. I may not have an answer at all since I'm in the same boat, but I have a philosophy that I have stuck to for many years....."Train up a child in the way he (she) should go and he will not depart from it". Do the best you can and have faith in how you have raised her. I wholeheartedly encourage regular family prayer together too.

Donna said...

Paige, you are on the track my dear. You are such an inspiration to your girls I just know it. Parenting is so hard but we know that God is with them. He will lead them down the right path. Our job is to also pray over them because we can't always be there to help them make those hard decisions. We can be there though when they need us to lean on. You are doing just fine girl.

You've Got Mail is one my faves too! I love her shop so much! Some day I'll get mine, I know it!

Jennifer said...

Oh Paige, this was beautifully written. I think you should let her read this post. It says everything perfectly. I don't have children so I really don't have any advice. I was that 13 year old girl though. I think sometimes the only way to learn those things is by experiencing them. I know it's sad and I'm sure as a mom it breaks your heart that her heart will get broken along the way, but I know you will be there to pick up the pieces. You have so much to be proud of. Your sweet daughter sounds like the kind of girl I wish so many were. :)

LuLu said...

Tell her as you told us... this post is says it all.I was thinking of my own children reading this post. i tell myself that i know i will not be able to prevent heartache that may/will happen during the course of my childrens lives but i can be there for them to hold, encourage and listen... be there safe haven and pray a lot!

PS~Erin said...

So beautiful. I think our saving grace as parents trying to do the right thing is that we care... The fact that you are trying to custom design your parenting just for her, that you are celebrating her personality, and that you know her so well, will all ensure that you advise her in the "right" way. All that being said, I have no clue. This parenting gig is t-o-u-g-h. Thanks for taking along on your ride.

Kasey said...

what a beautiful tribute.
I agree with the others...tell her what you wrote, you did so well with it.

homebody0404 said...

Oh Paige, that is a cosmic questions and, unfortunately, there are no correct answers.

Inevitably, she will get her heart broken and out of that brokeness will come a life lesson. Hopefully, she will take that lesson and use it to navigate her life. All you can do is be a sounding board, offer sage advice, & lend an ear.

My guess is that you already do all of the above so, in the end, it'll be alright.

Lori Lucas said...

I perused the other answers and I feel as I am the 'old' (I hate that word) veteran mom speaking. I have five children, ages 21-28. At one time we actually had five teenagers in the house! I thought of that when I read your post from the other day. But about today's post: I too have a daughter like you described. Annie was like your Emi, from the day she was born. Unfortunately, no matter what we (as mothers) tell them about, or WARN them about, they have the souls that have to find out on their own. And yes, there are times when they get hurt. It is heartbreaking. BUT because of the souls they are, it is actually more heartbreaking for us mothers!! As Annie got into her older teens, and still today :-) she will call me and tell me about someone that is in trouble, or needs help, and want to know what to do. As long as you have your wonderful relationship with Emi that you do now, I have no doubt that Emi will do the same. I think our role as mothers is to direct them, and say the very things you wrote about. But she will continue to be compassionate and want the best for everyone. My Annie still sees the best in everyone. She truly loves the unlovely. She cries for people she doesn't know and cannot help. It is what makes her so special, a perfect sister and a wonderful daughter. Interestingly enough, Annie took a job with a non-profit after college, when other friends were making big $$$. She works for the Red Cross now in disaster relief and absolutely LOVES her job. I use to worry about the same things you are, but as I looked about I realized what a 'lucky' ideal I was having to worry about in a child. We are two mothers that have been truly blessed. Keep up the wonderful posts.
p.s. Interestingly enough, my post from yesterday was "I've Got Mail"!

Shannon said...

Gee this is something I think every mom worries about. I love reading your blog and hope to come back years from now when my girls are grown up for inspiration.

Lemonade Makin' Mama said...

Such a challenge being a Mama! All these things to teach and train... You are doing a wonderful job.

I too, love Lucy. We named our puppy after Lucy too!

all that i am said...

Dear paige
I've been loving you from afar for about a month now
I stumbled into your blog via the post "twinkle life" posted on December 11

your January 14 post was the first one I read...

and today I see you in Somerset's "Artful blogging"

I don't even see you mentioning it anywhere in your blog?!?
maybe I just missed it...

But I expect you are just quite humble...

so I read your post today
and wept again

we have a daughter (and three sons)
she is 23 now

she looks much like your daughter beautiful, brown, round eyes, lips and nose!
and an especially beautiful spirit

(she was even a cheerleader!?)

she was once 13

trusting and loving and smart and full of faith and out to save and change the world!

and all that was torn from her by what she thought was one week of summer vacation first love...
family all around
yet freedom with all the cousins...
coming and going

(he and his family were not in our family gathering...they were in some cottage near by)

this was in August 2001
just before she entered high school
we watched her 'change' her freshman year...september 11 happened...

we couldn't figure it out
is this how teenage girls change?
she wouldn't talk to us like she always had
we knew something was very wrong...
we took her to counseling
we counseled as a family
we finally found 'Dr. Al' who became her trusted healer, and taught her again to love her self

it took her years before she felt she could tell us what happened
(when she entered college)

she had been raised to value and keep her purity
and she felt "she" had failed us

by being the victim of date rape

I know that is far more far than you care to know

and I do not have any answers

we obviously failed by not adequately protecting her?!?

yet I really do not know what more we could have done

we are a strong loving family that has always prayed together, ate together, played together

She and I had always talked
about everything
she knew how I felt, my life story, what our family values were
and that God had a plan for her life...
and loved her more than she could possibly imagine

yet that moment happened
and those awful years followed

there has been redemption...

she is once again a forgiving, kind and happy and loving
young woman
she is herself again

she has a heart for kids, especially those 8th graders!
(she has even taught that difficult 8th grade youth group at church)

just keep praying for your girls
continue to teach them all you know
you are a very wise woman
a Godly woman!
help her to be wise and to always trust the Lord

and let her know she can tell you anything
that everything that happens is not her fault, there is evil in this world
and that just like God, you will never be disappointed...

but will always love...

and the same loving God who protects and blesses you today
will be with you when we need His strength tomorrow

I know you know that, you have lived it

thank you for hearing our story

May God bless and keep you
May His face shine on you
May He be kind to you and give you peace...numbers 6:24

Cynthia, TX said...

Hi Paige, I immediately thought of you when I came across a bar of soap in the shape of a golden retriever. So, when you get a chance take a stroll over and take a peek. If you buy it don't blame me. I was just the messenger. (lol) http://www.giannarose.com/GRAStore.cfm?View=product&category=pets&ProductID=S10_694&do=detail

Tracey said...

Dearest Paige ~

Sounds to me, through writing your emotions down for all of us, you have found the words to say to your precious daughter...that is how you can teach her all that you want to...with your own words of guidance...those gentle and loving words that you have just poured out...

You're the best Paige!!!

Hugs ~

:) T

Jerri said...

Paige I agree with the others that you just need to follow your own advice which we all love reading. Lori Lucas said it well too. My Ash is a lot like that as well but its all about guiding them, being a listening ear when they are hurt or fail and putting them back on their way again! You are a great MOM!

all that i am said...

one of the women in my bible study e-mailed this to me thismorning


We pray for the Children who sneak Popsicles before supper,
who erase holes in math workbooks,
who can never find their shoes.

And we pray for those who stare at photographers from behind barbed wire,
who can't bound down the street in a new pair of sneakers,
who never "counted potatoes,"
who are born in places where we wouldn't be caught dead,
who never go to the circus,
who live in an X-rated world.

We pray for children who bring us sticky kisses and fistfuls of dandelions,
who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch money.

And we pray for those who never get dessert,
who have no safe blanket to drag behind them,
who watch their parents watch them die,
who can't find any bread to steal,
who don't have any rooms to clean up,
whose pictures aren't on anybody's dresser,
whose monsters are real.

We pray for children who spend all their allowance before Tuesday,
who throw tantrums in the grocery store and pick at their food,
who like ghost stories,
who shove dirty clothes under the bed,
who never rinse out the tub,
who get visits from the tooth fairy,
who don't like to be kissed in front of the carpool,
who squirm in church and scream in the phone,
whose tears we sometimes laugh at and
whose smiles can make us cry.

And we pray for those whose nightmares come in the daytime,
who will eat anything,
who have never seen a dentist,
who aren't spoiled by anybody,
who go to bed hungry and cry themselves to sleep,
who live and move, but have no being.

We pray for children who want to be carried and for those who must,
who we never give up on and for those who don't get a second chance.

For those we smother

and . . . for those who will grab the hand of anybody kind enough to offer it.

Courtney Walsh said...

you are so not alone. I love your thoughts here. They've blessed me today.

Andrea - Faded Plains said...

What a beautiful tribute to your daughter.

Jo said...

Parenting never gets easier ~ when they are little you can guide them in the right directions. When they begin to unfold into young adults you have to let them tread into the deeper waters without you ~ so scary. I too feel you should share your words with her ~ write them in a sweet letter for her to hold and revisit. When my son was struggling with a friendship I shared with him the words my parents, many years before, shared with me ... show me your friends and I'll know who you are. Is this a true representation of who you are?

I know you'll figure this out and you're daughter will be the better for it ~ you're an amazing mother.

Simply Mel said...

I'm a proud mother of a 2 year old little girl, and I can already sense the worry within myself in regards to being a good mother and friend to my beloved crumb. Your words were so beautifully written, and you should definitely share them with your sweet daughter.

Just noticed you are currently reading The Help. I just finished it yesterday - great book! Being from the South, I truly appreciated it!

Michelle said...

Beautiful post and beautiful daughter! She is blessed to have such a loving mom.

Jackie said...

What a great post, my first time here. My thoughts are," BE THERE" and looks like you are.....I am a mom of three and lucky to be home with my kids. As they grow they need you as much as they did when they were babies. Have a lovely weekend :)

Wendy @ The Shabby Nest said...

Um, Paige. Hello? Why are you not shouting from the rooftops that you are in Artful Blogging? Congratulations, my dear friend. It couldn't be more well deserved!


cammy said...

Oh sweet Paige, such beautifully written words. Your post truly spoke to my heart because I am having those same thoughts and questions. Your Emi sounds very much like my Gracie.

BTW, I loved seeing your blog featured in Artful Blogging! Congratulations!


Jessica said...

I'm glad I wandered over here today. :) You have a lovely blog. I have just the poem for you. Look here. I get what you're saying. I'm a pessimist myself.

Heather H said...

i'm so glad i just took the time to read all of these comments!!!

you are such a precious mom. i feel so blessed to know that when my time comes with all of this ... i have you.


julie said...

first off, you are such a wonderful mother! it is such a fine line! i know everything will fall into place for you both! xo

3 Peanuts said...

Oh I don't know the answer to that but I sure am going to read all the comments. And I know if anyone can do this PAige, it is you.

Ramona said...

All I can say Paige is that your a wonderfully, wonderful mother. You hold the hearts of those around you in your heart...how blessed are they!

Smiles ~ Ramona

Ashley said...

It seems like you are doing a great job just by being you...

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